don’t worry about being deep

October 31, 2013 in Art as a professiontopics:,

I was on an online forum recently where a young photographer was asking if one photo of his was any good: he wanted to know if it “made a statement” or if it was just “eye-candy”. I replied that it isn’t so simple. A photograph isn’t either “eye-candy” or “a deep philosophical statement”: it can be both or anything in between. Your job as the artist is not to worry about how your art gets classified. That’s the audience’s job. Your job is to stop thinking, and just learn how to SEE. Don’t try to categorize or rationalize it. Just open your eyes, and if some part of your brain responds to what it sees, try to capture that feeling through the camera, and then move on. Don’t worry about why you liked it, or if anyone else will, what it means, or what you’ll do with it. Just capture it and communicate it as best as you can.

When I feel like I am becoming too self-conscious and critical of my work, I will often go on a photoshoot, but leave the camera behind. I go for a walk, and try to engage my photographer’s eye without actually taking a picture. With no camera, there’s no pressure to get the shot right, or to make sure a shot is “in my style”. You start to see things that you normally would miss because you’re usually focused on what you “should” be photographing.

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